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Journalism (Certificate of Higher Education)

Approved by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), this highly practical Certificate of Higher Education in Journalism will develop your journalistic skills from day one. You will improve and hone your writing and interview skills, learn how to write for different audiences and specialist markets, and develop professional writing habits. You will be taught by practitioners with practical journalistic and teaching experience. 

As well as developing your professional skills, you will also learn about the social and political context of your work and the cultural and ethical issues that accompany working as a journalist. You'll explore contemporary trends in British mainstream and alternative media, from print and radio to television and the internet. Birkbeck is a leading centre for media and cultural studies, so you will learn about the key figures, theories and approaches within the academic field of cultural studies. 

Option modules let you focus and you can choose to further strengthen your interview techniques, learn more about politics, media and technology, or develop useful production skills, such as sub-editing and layout and design. 

Taking this course makes you eligible to apply for NUJ student membership


  • Become a journalist from your first day in the classroom, developing your professional skills and improving your future employment prospects. You will acquire up-to-date skills and knowledge from experienced practitioners at the heart of London's global media industry. 
  • In film, media and cultural studies, Birkbeck fosters an especially research-intensive environment and offers an extensive portfolio of internationally respected courses that span a variety of academic disciplines and engage with the latest ideas and techniques in journalism, media and cultural theory, arts policy and management, film and television studies, creative marketing, digital culture and cultural studies.
  • We are also affiliated with a number of research centres and networks, including Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture (BIRMAC), the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) and the Vasari Research Centre for Art and Technology
  • We offer a dynamic programme of seminars, events and guest lectures, organised by affiliated research centres and networks.

Progression to degrees at Birkbeck

Successfully completing this Certificate of Higher Education offers a progression route onto related degrees at Birkbeck, including our:

  • BA Film and Media
  • BA Journalism and Media 

Credits gained on this certificate can give you exemption from some modules on these courses. If you are offered a place on one of these degrees, you can apply for retrospective credit for Introduction to Journalism Practice, and Journalism in British Life. You can also receive retrospective credit for your other Level 4 and Level 5 modules, at the discretion of the course director for your degree.

Course structure

To gain the Certificate of Higher Education you must register on and successfully complete individual modules worth a total of 120 credits, consisting of:

  • two compulsory modules (60 credits)
  • two option modules (60 credits).

Module groups

You can take these modules as part of this certificate, or as standalone short courses.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    None. However, all modules are taught at university level and you should be able to read, write and speak English fluently. If you need help, we offer a range of academic English and language development modules.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the UK and you do not already have residency here, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration: Student visa
    • Courses of less than six months' duration: Standard Visitor visa

    International students who require a Student visa should apply for our full-time courses as these qualify for Student visa sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Student visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Please also visit the international section of our website to find out more about relevant requirements by country.

  • Fees


    Fees are payable per module and vary depending on the course. Please view the Course Structure and then click on the title of individual modules to see the fees for each module. The overall cost of the certificate will depend on the modules you choose. 

    Please note: if you intend to study this certificate part-time and fund your studies via a student loan, this may affect your entitlement for future full-time funding. Find out more about funding your studies with a student loan.

  • Teaching and assessment


    Teaching is in small, interactive groups.


    100% coursework. 

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue career paths in:

    • journalism (newspapers and magazines, print, online and digital)
    • public relations
    • the creative industries.

    This course can also provide transferable skills and knowledge to work across a broad range of professional communications roles and settings.

    We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    This is a modular enrolment certificate, so you will need to enrol onto individual modules (rather than onto the entire programme of study). Please view the Course Structure and then click on the title of individual modules to see class dates and times and to enrol.